CW Survivor – Challenge 17: Mash-Up

Write a story that intertwines two existing stories or characters.

Leonard crashed through the underbrush, muttering to himself, trying to ignore the ringing in his ears and remember where the rendezvous was supposed to be. Behind him, the slow, steady tramping of the search party continued to close in. His only consolation was that they weren’t searching for him, they were all looking for the same thing, he just had to find the guy first. Ahead of him, a distinctively gnarled oak guarded the clearing where he and Harry had agreed to meet once they were out.

He burst into the clearing, panting from the exertion of lugging around his excess weight. “Harry!” he gasped “Come out, they’re right behind me, we’ve got to go.” The two of them had split up after their escape, and though Harry had taken the longer route to this spot, Leonard knew that Harry would have gotten here first, as long as he avoided the searchers.

“Leonard, you made it.” A note of surprise tinged Harry’s voice as he stepped out from behind a tree on the far side of the clearing, looking as calm and collected as anyone could while wearing a red rubber clown nose. “Are you ready for the next part of the plan?”

Leonard’s face fell, “I can’t remember the plan, Harry. I just need to get back to my kids.”

“How many times did we go over the plan? You honestly don’t remember?”

“I had it when we escaped, but you know how the sounds are … my ears are still ringing from the last one and if you hadn’t written me that note, I wouldn’t be here.” Leonard searched his pockets for the note, but found nothing except his old headphones.

Harry sighed. He thought for a minute, until the faint sounds of the search party carried into the clearing. “All right, if I tell you the plan one last time, can you remember it?”

“I will try. The plan gets me back to my kids doesn’t it?”

“Of course, of course. Alright, do you see that hill just on the other side of the river?” Harry pointed behind Leonard, away from the sounds of the oncoming search party. “If you go straight over that hill, there’s a town that has a TV station. That’s the next step. We have to get our message out, and TV is the best way to do it.”

“My kids will be watching TV, they’ll see me, they’ll know I’m coming home, right?”

Leonard started to shuffle toward the hill. He still moved slowly, and there was nothing Harry could do about Leonard’s weight until they had more time. Judging by the noise they were making, the advancing search party would be in the clearing in minutes. Harry checked the gun he had taken from a guard, that might buy him some time.

“Yes, Leonard they will know where you are and what you’re doing. That’s the plan.”

“It’s been so long, I can still see their faces though. I hope they rememb-”

A single gunshot, and Harry was off again, one step ahead of the searchers.

K: Wow, interesting mash-up here. I’m a big fan of both Of Mice and Men and anything by Kurt Vonnegut (in this case, his short story “Harrison Bergeron,” from the book Welcome to the Monkey House). After I realized who these characters were, I went back and read it again, and Leonard’s death strikes me even more now. Damn, this week is a tough one.

This was my back-burner idea for most of the week, but I never came up with anything that bettered it, so I went with it. I thought the stories fit well together, but the clunkiest part was the story that Harry has to tell Leonard, I don’t feel like I came up with a good story that had anywhere near the power of the rabbits in ‘Of Mice and Men’ (but then again, I guess I shouldn’t expect to equal Steinbeck). So, as a result the story is kind of just … there. If I had come up with some motivation for Leonard, I think this would be stronger.

No immunity this week (and no non-submissions to bail me out). Fingers crossed that I get to continue.

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5 thoughts on “CW Survivor – Challenge 17: Mash-Up

  1. I guess I shouldn’t expect to equal Steinbeck

    Yeah, Steinbeck kinda had it goin’ on. Ditto Vonnegut, for that matter. I suppose that could have made it a more difficult undertaking.

    • Not that I expected to equal either of them. But given more time, that story plays such an important role in ‘Mice’ and doesn’t pull it’s weight here, so it is certainly where I would have focused my revisional energy.

  2. I”M ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MWA-HA!!!!!

    Ahem, I survived the vote, so I will have done at least one more challenge in this “season” than last. Improvement is always the goal.

    • “Mwa-ha” is already a thing! I love it.

      Crazy, this game, with three of the same final seven. I’ve been waiting for this interesting showdown.

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